Defeated Labour councillor: ‘The voters have let us down’

9 May 2021

11:02 PM

9 May 2021

11:02 PM

With dozens of Labour councillors defeated across the country, the recriminations and inquests have already begun. Various reasons have been suggested for Tory gains across the Red Wall including the vaccine rollout and Boris Johnson’s own personal popularity, with Labour’s leadership using the occasion to (attempt) a reshuffle of its top team.

One defeated Labour councillor in Amber Valley though has now offered up his own explanation for his defeat and that of 200 other colleagues across the country. Outgoing leader Chris Emmas-Williams, told the Derby Telegraph today: ‘It’s been a disastrous day for us. I don’t think I’ve ever been in an election with so acrimony and so many lies in campaign literature. The voters have let us down. I hope they don’t live to regret it.’ Emmas-Williams’ irritation came as the Tories won 13 of the 16 seats on Amber Valley Borough Council with Labour losing nine and overall control.

This fits a trend. Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee put voters on notice before the election, saying that they had “no excuse” not to vote against the evil Tories.

“Citizens have a duty to keep their government straight. Myriad quotes make the point, but here’s Einstein: “The world is in greater peril from those who tolerate or encourage evil than from those who actually commit it.” If “evil” is too epic for tawdry selfishness, self-obsession and greed, remember Johnson has let the bodies pile higher in the UK than anywhere in Europe and casually imperilled peace in Northern Ireland. Voters have no excuse, with Keir Starmer and his frontbench a thoroughly electable, decent and honest alternative compared with the rogues’ gallery opposite.”

How these working class voters have disappointed their self-appointed spokesmen and women! Even worse, YouGov polls suggest the Tories now have 17-point lead with C2DE voters.

Blaming voters is certainly a novel approach to take for Labour. Mr S remains unconvinced that evoking Bertolt Brecht’s satire of life in the Eastern Bloc is the best strategy for regaining the Red Wall. Here’s his poem: The Solution. Perhaps it might work as the basis of the next Toynbee column.

After the uprising of the 17th June
The Secretary of the Writers Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Stating that the people
Had forfeited the confidence of the government
And could win it back only
By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier
In that case for the government
To dissolve the people
And elect another?

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